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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Appropriate Post-Workout Supplementation

Endurance and strength training have both aesthetic and health benefits, and if you want to stay active even after a workout routine, you must learn to supplement your body with the right amount of protein. When performing endurance exercises, the muscles get damaged and they become worn-out for a short period of time; in the long run, the muscles turn into an aerobic machine, but until that happens, they must be properly nourished.

Leaving aside water, a post workout meal should also contain carbs and protein; however, you should stay away from eating fat because it slows down your digestion. Here are some further guidelines about including supplements into your diet after you’ve exercised.


This substance occurs naturally in the cells of our muscles. When used as a dietary supplement to build muscle, this metabolite becomes creatine monohydrate used for cellular modulation and energy production. Creatine increases the cell volume of the muscles, promotes lean muscle tissue, increases glycogen synthesis and speeds up post-workout recovery. Athletes are advised to include between 5 and 10g of creatine into their diets when performing weight training.

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in natural sources such as poultry. Supplementing your diet with beta alanine increases endurance, improves force output, enhances body composition, reduces fatigue and boosts performance levels in athletes and avid bodybuilders. Heavy lifters are advised to include 2-3 g of this protein into their diets before a workout routine, and an additional 2-3 g afterwards to help the body recover faster.

Whey Protein

Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to Lift Your Way Out of Back Pain

Sorry to burst your bubble, but no one cares how much you can lift.  In fact, they’ll probably judge you for trying to lift more without having the right technique. One of the most common gym injuries happens because people bite off more than they can chew. If you’re experiencing back pain after working out, it may be because you’re lifting too much weight.

But how do you know when the weight is ‘too’ much? Simple: You look at your form.

How to Know When to Lift More or Less

There’s no point in heavy lifting if all you’re doing is hurting your back. In fact, heavy lifting coupled with bad form won’t only keep you from getting stronger, it can cause serious injury. Before you start trying to figure out how much weight you should be lifting, it’s important that you first have the proper technique down.

Lifting weight that’s too heavy often means you’re sacrificing form. But lifting weight that’s too light means you’re barely working your muscle groups. Think of it like this:

Too Heavy

- increases your risk of injury
- makes it easier for your body to cheat, thereby robbing you of the proper ‘pump’
- reduces your time under tension because you’re simply ‘powering through’ the workout instead of taking the time to do an adequate, full rep
- less able to focus on your form because your focus is more on being able to lift the weight

Too Light

- halts your progress by not effectively working your muscles
- form may be better, but you’re not effectively breaking down your muscles to the point where you could grow stronger. Instead, you’re just lifting a light bar up and down
- may tone muscle, but isn’t properly exerting them
Contrary to what some health professionals may say, recent studies have shown that lifting lighter weights does INDEED help build muscle. In a study conducted by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who lifted significantly lighter amounts of weight were found to gain muscle equality as those who power lifted. The main reason? Because they were able to full reps—not just the halfway up, halfway down power rep.

Avoiding Back Pain While Strengthening Your Back

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vitamin D: How Does It Impacts Exercise And Athletes?

Vitamin D is one of those vitamins that almost everybody lacks in some way. Primarily obtained through exposure to sunlight rather than in food sources, it can be difficult to make sure you're getting enough. This is particularly important for athletes – or indeed, anyone who exercises! Let's run through what Vitamin D actually does, and how these effects can benefit you.

One of the major things Vitamin D is responsible for is helping our bodies absorb calcium. Most people are aware that calcium helps with bone growth and strength, but this isn't all it does. It helps regulate muscle contractions – in particular, your heartbeat, and it's vital for the process of blood clotting. 

All three of these benefits are vital to athletes. Having strong bones is important – after all, you want to reduce your risk of injury as much as possible. Regulating the heart-beat in particular will come in handy for those endurance runs! In addition, keeping your blood clotting regularly is useful for recovering from any injuries you may have. Often, when people see this they consider upping their calcium intake but this is less effective than upping your Vitamin D intake. After all, no matter how much calcium you have going in, it won't be beneficial if your body can't absorb it.

Another major benefit to vitamin D is the way it reduces inflammation. There's a substance known as “cytokines”, which can be either pro or anti-inflammatory. Vitamin D encourages the body's production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, whilst reducing the amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This means that you'll have less issue with inflammation, reducing the recovery time between workouts – a vital part of building a useful exercise routine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are Protein Shakes For Me?

Eaten enough chicken and eggs to last you a lifetime? If you’re pumping iron hard but not seeing the results, then it’s probably time to consider using protein shakes. There is a massive range of varieties on the market to choose from, so we’ll talk you through the basics.

Why Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are one of the most effective ways to build up muscle without piling on unwanted pounds in other areas. Here’s the science bit: protein is the only macro-nutrient – as opposed to carbohydrates and fat - that actually builds and repairs muscle tissue instead of breaking down muscles for energy. So it is exactly what you need to turn those reps into pecs.

Can’t I just eat more protein?

Yes, if you have the time and inclination, but protein shakes offer a faster, nutritious alternative and can also be more cost effective than a shopping basket full of chicken. They can also stop you filling up on high protein foods which contain a load of fats and carbohydrates, such as soy, eggs and nuts.

Which should I go for?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Essential Preparation To Protect Your Back As A Gym Beginner

Lifting heavy weights can be a really effective way of building up your body, but it’s also one of the most common causes of gym injuries. It’s important to know how to do it safely. Although it can be frustrating if you have to take time out and can’t keep pushing to achieve your goals, this really isn’t an area where you can afford to make a mistake because you could end up with lasting problems.

The Risks Of Lifting

When you lift, you’re probably thinking about your arms and your stomach muscles, but your back is also doing a lot of work. It’s easy to strain the muscles, especially in the lower back, and this can result in injuries that hurt for weeks and get worse if you try to exercise before they’ve healed. A torn muscle can mean months of injury and, worst of all, spinal injuries can be with you for life. If you learn how to lift safely, however, the risk of anything going wrong is very much reduced.

Are You Fit To Lift?

The first thing you need to know is whether or not you are in good enough shape to start lifting. You may want to consult a spinal specialist about this. The Detroit Lions have an ongoing relationship with Healthquest Chiropractic, so they can be confident that they are fit enough to go into a game. If you have problems, in most cases there are simple daily exercises you can do that will build up strength in your muscles and get you into condition to lift safely.

Prepare Your Muscles

Everybody knows that you should warm up before you start exercising, but many don’t realize that this isn’t simply a case of getting your blood pumping; it’s about loosening the individual muscles you’ll be using. When it comes to your back, the best way to do this is to roll your shoulders and gently twist your upper body from side to side. Stretching your arms out sideways and gently moving them in circles is also helpful. It’s advisable to spend about ten minutes on this before you start working out.

Learn The Safe Lifting Techniques